Governor’s Proposal to Tax Candy and Soda

Published November 18, 2009

Gov. Bill Ritter wants to transfer $132 million in taxpayer money into the government’s coffers by increasing taxes on soda, candy and Internet purchases.

Those tax increases will have little effect on public health, but they will have a strong negative effect on the economic health of Colorado.


Experience shows such targeted tax increases will not prevent future tax increases, will not be rescinded in the future, but will make it possible for the legislature to avoid tackling the budget and spending reforms that are vital to preserving Colorado’s future.


It’s the classic nickel-and-dime tactic. A legislator claims the state has a revenue problem (rather than a spending problem) and all it will cost taxpayers is a few nickels here or a dime there on whatever the “evil” product du jour is.

While these taxes on soda and candy might seem small, they add up over time and will burden taxpayers both directly and indirectly, by keeping government spending unnaturally higher than it would be without the tax.


John Nothdurft, Chicago

The writer is a legislative specialist for the The Heartland Institute.

This letter to the editor was originally published in the Denver Post.